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KZN film industry ready for growth

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KZN Film Commission Carol Coetzee with filmmaker Bonie Sithebe and KZNFC COO Jackie Motsepe. Sbu Mfeka KZN Film Commission Carol Coetzee with filmmaker Bonie Sithebe and KZNFC COO Jackie Motsepe.

KZNFC hosts film industry Indaba

March 14, 2018 

Nkosikhona Duma 

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: On Tuesday (March 13, 2018) The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission (KZNFC) brought together captains of industry, film makers and advertising agencies in a business breakfast with the aim of wooing them to take advantage of the opportunities available in the booming film industry.

The film industry is said to yield millions of rands in revenue.

Brand integration/product placement, a process of marketing whereby the advertiser’s product is central to the film’s plot line, was established to the throng of film producers, public officials, foreign consuls, marketing specialists and journalists who were present at the high-class event.

Speaking at the KZNFC business breakfast , Carol Coetzee, CEO of the KZNFC said: “Results from the National and Video Foundation four-year study reveals that the film industry made a R5, 4 billion contributions to the GDP, compared to R3,5 billion in 2013. With a multiplier effect of 2.89, the operations of the film industry in South Africa raised the level of production by approximately R12,2 billion, an overall positive impact.”

The purpose of the gathering was to promote and market filmmaking in KwaZulu-Natal as a profitable economic choice for investors.

The industry in the country was already showing positive growth projections, rewards for investors and an overall positive impact in the country’s economy.

Chief Operations Officer for the KZNFC, Jackie Motsepe said: “The total investment or expenditure made in the South African film industry contributed to the creation of more than 26.626 jobs. The South African cinema revenues and industry at large are projected to be on an upward trajectory. Total cinema revenue in South Africa is expected to grow by R2,2 billion in 2021.

“Adding on the benefits derivable from partnering with film producers by captains of industry, the KZNFC’s Patricia Motsepe said: “risk is mitigated for foreign and local filmmakers when they produce their film because of all the government funding that is available,” she said.

Motsepe added the commission can fund film projects up to R 1.5 million.

“The KZNFC can provide funding of up to R1 500 000 per film project provided that there is economic merit. The Industrial Development Corporation can support with financial funding up to 49% of a film project. The Department of Trade and Industry also provides some great incentives when filmmakers shoot on a location in the country as 20% of the Qualifying South African Production Expenditure,” explained Motsepe.

Peter Oosthuizen, a South African filmmaker who is also an expert in product placement extoled the low-cost benefit of marketing through product placement as a result of the multiple support given to filmmakers, especially by government. He urged the private sector to start utilizing product placement more as a marketing tool.

“Consumers are bored with overt marketing and advertising. There is growing pressure for brands to start presenting their products and services to the public with high quality content. Film is one of the best ways to do that. Product placement has been proven to be a much easier and cheaper form of marketing. It is unfortunate that it is currently under-utilised in South Africa,” said Oosthuizen.

Jayan Moodley, director of the box office blockbuster – Keeping Up with the Kandasamys, expressed great enthusiasm about the event and credited as the perfect platform for those in the business of film to unite and propel the country’s film industry to greater heights.

“Our film reached over 400 000 people in the big screen alone. That is a massive audience by South African standards. We need more business leaders to partner with local filmmakers to make bigger and better films. This will not benefit their brands, but the country as a whole,” said Moodley.

Currently, KwaZulu-Natal is attracting a number of international, national and local productions – with over 12 productions taking place annually in the province. To this effect, Carol Coetzee said: “We [the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission] currently have over 120 projects in our portfolio and we need more partners.”

Azania Mundane, director of Esan Films and Events said: “The initiative by the KZN Film Commission is long overdue. It is a necessary initiative. Product placement can make an impact subliminally and viewers can take home with them what they have seen and experienced.

“For far too long, producers have shied away from this very necessary advertising technique. From a script point of view, using product placement we are able to develop a character and show the ordinary life that they are living. The localisation of the character becomes real.

“Whether accidental or purposeful, creating a synergy between brand and film situates the narrative to make it attractive for the man on the street,” Mundane said. Producers and production companies found that some brands were not convinced that South African films were making money. But the box office takings for movies such as Mrs Right Guy, Keeping Up With the Kandasamys, Happiness Is a Four-Letter Word, and Tsotsi, raked in millions.

Last modified onWednesday, 14 March 2018 15:22